The bedroom refuge


Is your bedroom a haven — a sanctuary where you can rest and rejuvenate? If not, here are some suggestions for making your bedroom into the room that provides peace of mind along with bodily comfort. Your bedroom reflects who you are. So the first question is, how do you see yourself? Imagine yourself in different settings. Does traditional furniture — classic Queen Anne, Chippendale, 18th and 19th century European antique styles — give you a feeling of stability and continuity? A canopy or sleigh bed in rich cherry or mahogany, with Pachabel playing on the stereo hidden in your carved armoire, may be the perfect romantic touch you’ve been seeking. Perhaps the setting that makes you feel warm and cozy comes from country furniture — the rough-hewn rustic look or the distressed finishes of cottage styles. Homey fabrics, like chintz, linen or denim, and accessories like handmade quilts, needlework pillows, rag rugs, and framed watercolors with outdoor themes may support your vision of the perfect place to relax and get a good night’s sleep.

The casual contemporary look leans towards light glowing woods like maple or dramatic pieces in dark stains like espresso. Clean lines on popular styles, such as Mission furniture, make for a sophisticated yet warm space. Japanese prints on the wall and flower arrangements in colored glass vases may make this your favorite room in the house. One step beyond contemporary is the look of modern furniture for those who love the linear design of retro, Art Deco, or an eclectic mix of styles. Fabrics are simple, and leather pieces work well. A lacquered platform bed and low sleek pieces can mix well with bold colors and richly patterned rugs or bedding, or show off a collection of black-and-white photographs on the wall. Whatever style calls your name, ambient lighting in a bedroom enhances the mood. Put a dimmer switch on the main light in the room, or think about lamps that goes on and off to a clap of your hands.

Have at least one bright light if you have a "work" corner in the bedroom that hosts a computer or project table, and a good reading light near your armchair or by the bed if you like to read in bed. To keep the peaceful atmosphere of the bedroom, hide TVs or computers in an armoire so they’re not in view except when being used. Scented candles, fresh flowers, and a beautiful decanter to hold your drinking water are wonderful touches for any bedroom. The most important part of the bedroom is often ignored for too long. Is your mattress the right one for your back and for deep healthy sleep? Upgrade to a new pillowtop or possibly a larger size mattress for the ultimate in bedroom comfort. And if your bedroom haven is just too wonderful to leave in the morning, how about installing a "morning bar" with a coffee maker and small refrigerator? Breakfast in bed, anyone?